Living with Diabetes
LewisGale Hospital at Alleghany provides a wide variety of support for patients with diabetes, whether they’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes or living with the disease.
The Diabetes Education Program at LewisGale Hospital at Alleghany provides a certified diabetic educator (CDE) to assess your diabetes and assist you in managing your condition through education and counseling. To utilize the services of our Diabetic Education Center, you simply need to be referred there by a physician or have written orders from your doctor for "diabetic education."
For assistance in obtaining a physician referral or additional information, contact Brenda Graham, RN, CDE, at LewisGale Hospital at Alleghany at 540-862-6555. Or, if you already have physicians’ orders for diabetic education, call the Hospital’s Diabetes Education Center direct at 540-862-6555.
But what exactly is diabetes? It’s a condition characterized by high levels of blood sugar, also known as glucose. These abnormally high levels are usually the result of the body not producing enough insulin or being resistant to insulin. The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone, which is used by the body to convert glucose into energy or fuel for other parts of the body, such as muscles. People with diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin or their body is resistant to it or not using it properly for some reason.
It’s estimated that 18 to 20 million Americans have diabetes, of which there are four major types, including Type 1, Type 2, Gestational, and Pre-Diabetes.
Alarmingly, many people don’t know they have diabetes, or pre-diabetes. Symptoms of diabetes can include elevated blood sugar, sugar in the urine (glycosuria), excessive urine production, excessive thirst, itching of the skin and an increase in food intake. Because of the many complications associated with diabetes, patients who demonstrate the symptoms noted here should not delay in seeking treatment from their physician.
LewisGale Hospital at Alleghany also offers a Diabetes Support Group with regular monthly meetings. The sessions are free to the public and meet at 7:00 p.m. the first Thursday of each month in the hospital’s cafeteria.
Education is a key factor in living with, and in some cases preventing, diabetes and we encourage you to contact your health care professional or our Diabetes Education Center for additional information.